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 Post subject: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:10 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Years ago, I worked on a restored steam locomotive that had superheating installed after she was built. During the restoration, they installed a reproduction Superheater Corporation patent plate on the smokebox, even though it was clear from photos, that she never sported one in service.

I know that new steam locomotives built with superheaters often recieved these plates, but what about locomotives where superheating was retrofitted? Was there a patent or legal requirement that the plates had to be installed?

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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Brampton, Ontario
David, here is a thought.

From my own research I've noticed that locomotives such as CNR 6167 a Northern Type built in 1940 as far as I know NEVER had Superheater Plates on her smokebox (despite having an ELESCO Type E Superheater IN her smokebox...) This in interesting as the erecting card for the class clearly depicts a superheater plate on the smokebox! I haven't come across any photographs showing any of CNR's Northerns with the superheater plate.

Looking at GTW's U-3-a class (ALCO 1927), it looks like they had the superheater patent plate above their builder's plates, and I think I may even see the heart shaped Nicholson Thermic Syphon plates above that.

As for the U-3-b class (ALCO 1942), I can't even definitively spot builder's plates on any of them in any of the photos I have, but perhaps the builder's plates were applied under the running boards as was done with 6167 and the U-2-e and U-2-f class classes of 1940.

I have a present day photo of GTW 6325 (a member of the U-3-b class) that shows it with a builder's plate, superheater plate above it and a thermic syphon plate to the left of the builder's plate, but I'm guessing these were added after the fact.

You hint that the application of these plates may have been in accordance to patent laws, so if that does turn out to be the case, perhaps the lack of plates on the CNR engines has to do with Canadian law or perhaps no one wanted to spare the brass (especially for the war baby Northerns)

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Last edited by joe6167 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:20 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
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SP 3420 has such a plate. Built in 1904 by Baldwin it was superheated in Oct 1918

Robby


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:22 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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I can't substantiate this, but will throw it out for someone who can.

If I recall correctly, the Superheater Company at one time enforced the application of the plates, but stopped -- I think sometime in the late Twenties, but perhaps as a reaction to the Depression. I don't remember any source for this - it's possible I got that information from a post here on RyPN somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:21 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Does anyone know the date of the Superheater Company's latest patent? It seems to me seventeen years after the last patent issued there was no longer any reason for the patent plates.

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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:04 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
Was it advertising or necessary to protect the patent? I'm sure your auto (or computer or phone or pretty much anything) is filled with patented devices and engaging in patented processes but I don't see this noted on the outside. Nor do I see old EMD locomotives with patent notices regarding the unit injectors although I suppose they could be noted somewhere on the engine itself.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:16 am
Posts: 39
Location: Racine, Wi
1st - I don't believe that patent marking was every required by law - but - you could only collect damages in enforcing your patent from the date the infringer received actual notice or the date of marking. This would have been before the current patent act - so I'm not sure of the law in the 30's or 40's on this but I suspect that it was optional.

2nd - a quick search of Superheater Company patents on Google patents shows that their last patents mentioning the term locomotive were issued in the 40's - and all are long long expired. From my experience notice was important before the advent of modern information services - now - I can find out more about my competitor's patents using the internet than I ever could using their patent markings as a gauge.

3. For those who care - here are the Superheater Company patents that contain the word "locomotive" from the 40's. Lots more in the 20's and 30's. Google uses OCR so this list might not be totally complete.

Results

COMPOUNDING SYSTEM FOB STEAM
http://www.google.com/patents/US2397977
Grant - ‎Filed Jan 11, 1945 - ‎Issued Apr 9, 1946 - ‎Rudolf M. Ostermann - ‎The Superheater Company
Patented Apr. 9, 1946 2,397,977 The present invention relates to steam locomotives and particularly to improvements in the arrangements for utilizing steam in ...

OSTERMANN
http://www.google.com/patents/US2288021
Grant - ‎Filed Jul 30, 1940 - ‎Issued Jun 30, 1942 - ‎Rudolf M. Ostermann - ‎The Superheater Company
For a given steam pressure at the locomotive end of the train heating line, the maximum amount of steam per hour which can enter the heating line, and ...
‎Overview‎

SUPERHEATER HEADER
http://www.google.com/patents/US2325554
Grant - ‎Filed Oct 18, 1941 - ‎Issued Jul 27, 1943 - ‎X B Bert Smith - ‎The Superheater Company
V In most locomotives the superheater tubes are mounted in fines that connect into the front tube sheet of the boiler and are arranged in alinement in a plurality ...
‎Overview

DRIFTING APPARATUS
http://www.google.com/patents/US2271875
Grant - ‎Filed Sep 18, 1940 - ‎Issued Feb 3, 1942 - ‎Rudolf M. Osterinann - ‎The Superheater Company
When the steam supply to the reciprocating en- Referring to Figure 1, the locomotive 10 in gines of a steam locomotive is shut off or greatly g which the invention ...
‎Overview

SUPERHEATER HEADER
http://www.google.com/patents/US2359589
Grant - ‎Filed Sep 17, 1942 - ‎Issued Oct 3, 1944 - ‎Charles Ringel - ‎The Superheater Company
The present invention relates to superheaters for locomotives and particularly to an improved header construction therefor. In modernizing locomotives it is ...
‎Overview

CONTROL VALVE FOR CENTRIFUGAL
http://www.google.com/patents/US2250865
Grant - ‎Filed Feb 23, 1940 - ‎Issued Jul 29, 1941 - ‎Joseph F. Griffin - ‎The Superheater Company
In the accompanying drawings: Figure 1 is a diagrammatic elevational view of a locomotive having a feed water system embodying the control valve of the ...
‎Overview

CINDER DEFLECTOR
http://www.google.com/patents/US2359441
Grant - ‎Filed Aug 28, 1943 - ‎Issued Oct 3, 1944 - ‎Emanuel Rawson - ‎The Superheater Company
In locomotive boilers the superheater tubes project forwardly from the flues into the smoke box where they are bent upwardly for connection to the superheater ...
‎Overview

CINDER TRAP
http://www.google.com/patents/US2343209
Grant - ‎Filed Apr 8, 1941 - ‎Issued Feb 29, 1944 - ‎Charles H. True - ‎The Superheater Company
The present invention relates to improvements in locomotive fireboxes and particularly to means for recovering unconsumed fuel particles and cinders from the ...
‎Overview

STEAM POWER PLANT
http://www.google.com/patents/US2418477
Grant - ‎Filed Jan 10, 1941 - ‎Issued Apr 8, 1947 - ‎R. M. OSTERMANN - ‎The Superheater Company
... In the particular form here shown the mecha- are useful for the propulsion of locomotives and nism of the present invention comprises a pri- other rail vehicles, ...
‎Overview

OPEN FOOT SUPERHEATER SUPPORT
http://www.google.com/patents/US2458029
Grant - ‎Filed Dec 20, 1944 - ‎Issued Jan 4, 1949 - ‎Emanuel Rawson - ‎The Superheater Company
In the drawings: Figure 1 is a longitudinal sectional view through a fragmentary portion of a locomotive flue showing a superheater tube mounted therein and ...
‎Overview


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
This is interesting, thanks to all who applied. As a non-patent attorney, I still find such things interesting.

It seems a lot of steam locomotive products and appliances had patent dates listed. I believe WABCO air compressors, NYAB air compressors, turbo generators, etc. all seem to have some patent information on them. Perhaps it was advertisting, perhaps it was to mark a part to avoid slavish copying by a competitor.

I also notice a variety of non-locomotive products of the era are similarly marked. I have a box of Russell Jennings Augers and a brace. The wood box for the augers includes a brass and enamel plate listing the patent dates.

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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:00 pm
Posts: 45
It is my understanding that, up until recently, clearly providing patent information on a product negated the need to send letters to an alleged infringer to establish an aware date. Clearly, the device was covered by a current patent.

It made it difficult for those who copied a design to pretend they did know about the patent. Once they are aware of the patent and the infringement allegation, continuing to make more becores a more serious issue, and suject to larger penalties, royalties, etc. once settled in court.

Recently, the laws have changed, and posting patent information on a corporate website is sufficient. This is why the back of your mobile device is not covered with patent numbers.

signed, an American Inventor (7 issued patents)


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:08 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
Indeed, there was a recent phenomenon of folks scouring products for patent notices, finding ones that had expired, and suing the manufacturer. Anyone could do so and the law was ambiguous as to whether the $500 penalty was per design or per individual item. Apparently this has been fixed now.

http://www.insidecounsel.com/2012/12/11 ... ing-relief

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:05 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 238
This is a topic that I had been thinking about when I was doing research for the Delaware Lackawanna &Western 565 non-operational restoration at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA.

The DL&W placed four orders for 2-6-0 Fast Freight Moguls for Soft Coal having Walshaerts Valve Gear. These were:

1906 Rogers (563-564)
1908 Schenectady (565-569)
1909 Schenectady (541-549)
1911 Schenectady (534-540)

Of these 23 locos, all but 535 were upgraded with addition of superheat and economy piston valve chests during a somewhat narrow time period of three or four years in the late teens or early twenties.

I have an engineer’s side photo of 565 taken in Dansville, NY, while on the Dansville and Mount Morris, some time prior to June 1949 that shows a Superheater Corporation Patent plate installed on the smokebox. The D&MM was a small short line daytime-only operation. As far as I can tell, the D&MM ran the loco, maintained the loco, and removed much of the unneeded electrical appliances, including the tender backup light and the train control box in front of the smokebox. It is highly unlikely that they would have added the Superheater plate after they acquired 565 from the DL&W in 1936, so all indications are that the Superheater plate was applied at the time the loco was upgraded by the DL&W.

Unfortunately, the plate is now missing. The last photo I have seen that shows the plate was taken in 1976 at Wayne, NJ as 565 was being loaded for transport to New Hope, PA. All that remains is the outline in the paint.

As to the frequency of the installation of these plates when a loco was modified with superheat, I have examined 17 engineer’s side photos of 12 of these Moguls (not including 565) while in service on the DL&W taken subsequent to the installation of superheat and only one locomotive, 543, is shown to have a Superheater plate installed on the smokebox.

The many fireman’s side DL&W 500 series Mogul photos I have seen give no indication that Superheater plates were ever attached on the fireman’s side of the smokebox.

Most of the photos were taken in the thirties, so it is possible that plates were installed during the upgrade and then later removed, but I could not see any evidence of this.

From this small sampling, I have not been able to ascertain a pattern for the reasoning behind the application of these plates. I would appreciate if someone could shed some light on what appears to be, at least until further data are uncovered, the somewhat random installation of these plates by the DL&W.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:36 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
Posts: 524
Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
How about a good drawing of one of the plates (circa 1925);

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6470 ... 0plate.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:28 pm 
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Posts: 1676
Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
SP&S #700 has a Superheater plate:


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 Post subject: Re: Those Superheater Corporation Patent Plates
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:39 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Interesting that the builder's plate has no month on it, just the year. Is it an original or a repro?

Howard P.

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